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Letters—Police attacked me and other Liverpool fans

Liverpool shares his experience of police violence at the Champions League final
Issue 2808
Tear gas covers Liverpool fans.

Tear gas covers Liverpool fans trying to enter the Stade de France stadium. (Phil Rowan)

I have been all around the world with Liverpool Football Club. I know how to deal with aggressive police and get into football grounds. But my experience at the Champions League final in Paris last month was like nothing else.

We spent the day walking to the ground stopping for refreshments. We left the last bar 90 minutes before kick off—that’s where it all went wrong.

There was a police block and a cordon that was uncomfortable but nothing worse than usual European away matches. We got through and I said that should be the worst bit over—I was wrong.

We tried to make our way to the gates and there was a huge crush. We were told the gates had been shut for some time. Then the police started wading in with shields and batons.

Naturally, people were trying to go backwards to get away. From behind police were firing tear gas so others were coming toward us. 

People were going in both directions to get away from the danger but no one could escape. We lifted kids and older people over the fence to sit on the media vehicles to make sure they were okay.

We slowly made our way backwards and told people coming toward us that the gates were locked and the police were attacking peoplePeople also turned around and went backward towards the police with tear gas—it was safer than going forwards.

It was in the middle of all that I had a feeling people might end up dead. Winning the cup stopped being a concern.

The police were firing gas like it was going out of fashion. We were told Real Madrid fans also had major issues.

This went on for an hour—gates locked and the police attacking people. Eventually we got in just after kick off and hours since we arrived.

Don’t let people tell you we turned up late and attacked the police, they attacked us. Uefa and the police need to be held accountable.

Phil Rowan

South London


Depp vs Heard exposes sexism

Hollywood actor Johnny Depp sued his former partner Amber Heard because she wrote an article saying she was a survivor of domestic abuse.

Depp says this has damaged his career. Newspapers are proclaiming that this trial heralds the end of #MeToo.

Depp has admitted to headbutting Heard. There is video evidence of him threatening her and texts where he said he wanted to kill and rape “her burnt corpse”.

I think the trial should have been thrown out of court. But the rich feel the rules do not apply to them. They are trying to overturn the #MeToo movement—something they hate.

The trial reveals the sexism of our society. Depp’s testimony is assumed by many to be true, while Heard’s is deemed false.

The #MeToo movement has tried to give justice to victims of domestic violence. This trial, by highlighting Heard’s acts, is an attempt to overturn that. 

Socialists should remember that the violence of the oppressed cannot be equated with the violence of the oppressor. If a woman fights back it doesn’t make the accused man innocent. 

The trial will have consequences for women who report sexual violence. Already in the United States, in some 1,000 sexual assault cases, 975 perpetrators walk free.

Tiffany Knight-Hughes

Norwich


Monkeypox precautions need to be in place

The Socialist Worker editorial on Monkeypox (Socialist Worker 25 May) is a bit concerning. It is very definite about the virus not being an airborne transmissible disease.

The editorial makes valid and important points about the mainstream media’s reporting fuelling racism and homophobia.

But it is perhaps too early to say if Monkeypox can or cannot be transmitted by an airborne route. A recent article in the Lancet medical magazine suggests this might be possible. 

An open mind needs to be kept on this matter until things are more definite. And precautions against airborne transmission need to be in place when dealing with suspected cases.

Dr Jonathan Fluxman

Dr Kambiz Boomla

Doctors in Unite


Remembering anti-fascist Ray Hill

Ray Hill, who has sadly died, will be remembered with great affection by anti-fascists. He made a huge difference to anti‑fascism for 40 years.

Hill led an extraordinary life, and when he campaigned with Unite Against Fascism (UAF) we were very proud. 

His early politics were those of the extreme right. Nazi groups groomed him with immigration pamphlets.

But the fascist British Movement, which Ray helped lead, were to fall victim to his ingenious undermining of their sect. 

Ray went on to reject racism. Working undercover at great risk, he helped anti-fascist magazine Searchlight dismember Nazi groups. He helped stop a terror attack on the 1981 Notting Hill Carnival.

When he finally broke cover, his former “comrades” were stunned. 

Ray took his membership of UAF seriously. His advice was always valuable. In particular his work for the Nick Griffin Must Go campaign was tremendous. 

Ray treasured his family to whom our hearts go out. His legacy will last long.

Paul Sillett

Paul Jenkins

Unite Against Fascism


GMB official’s unjust arrest

This is England where you get arrested for striking whilst politicians talk about freedoms and values. 

First they came for socialists then the trade unionists. 

You know what happens next. 

Will you keep your eyes closed, England?

Ian Hodson

President of Bfawu, the bakers’ union

On Twitter


Police exist to defend the interests of the powerful 

They can’t wait to arrest representatives of the working class. 

They didn’t even see any parties happening in Downing Street during the lockdown—double standards.

Mason

On Twitter


Who is this Karl Marx?

I bought the Socialist Worker newspaper at a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament rally in London some time ago. 

Its sidebar, ‘What we stand for’ was the first thing that resonated with me.

It made me wonder who this Karl Marx guy was? The rest is history.  

Dr Rob Burton

Hangzhou, China


Time to end privatisation

We fell for Tory propaganda years ago that privatising public services would let market forces give us a better deal. Well we can all see how that turned out.


The Tories have asset stripped our resources to the point that we, the public, own nothing.
The sooner we bring back all utility services into public ownership the better. 

Ainsley Earley

On Facebook


American dream

Tax the rich and feed the poor. Feed the needy not the greedy. A rising sea-level lifts all super yachts. 

Wake up, it’s called the American Dream—It’s called that because you have to be asleep to believe it.

John Volo

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